All Photos Courtesy of Meghan MacWhirter
Meghan MacWhirter is a style blogger, accessory designer, and creative entrepreneur on-the-rise, hailing from southern Alberta, Canada. Collectively, Meghan’s blog, art portfolio, online shop, and Instagram feed, form a visual narrative of her latest endeavours, which span the creative spectrum. Her personal style effortlessly blends classic elegance with playful pops of colour, channeling the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Kate Spade, to produce a delightful fashion motif of whimsical sophistication.
Beyond Meghan’s artistic pursuits, which include: printmaking, painting, photography, accessory design and style blogging; she’s also set her sights on socially and politically-attuned projects, recently working alongside a badass collective of femmes to coordinate and promote Lethbridge’s first femme-oriented music festival, FLIP Fest. FLIP Fest premiered in a three-day showcase this past August with a mandate to promote an inclusive and supportive music community, celebrating female and gender-non-conforming artists, across the broader southern Alberta community and beyond.
Meghan’s creative ambition seemingly knows no bounds, as her presence and influence in the arts community continues to gain momentum. Recently, I had the opportunity to engage her in an interview, and learn a bit more about her artistic influences and personal insights on the creative community at large.
Tell us a bit about yourself and when you first realized that art was going to be an integral part of your life.
My name is Meghan. I am an art student, style blogger and accessory designer currently living in Lethbridge, Alberta. I think art has always been a part of my life, whether it was intentional or not. I was always drawing and scrapbooking as a child, or even putting on mini fashion shows for my mom. Today, I am taking Art at the University of Lethbridge, and I like to incorporate my love for art in my work and personal style!
You have a wonderful sense of style that is both whimsical and timelessly elegant. Who do you consider to be your style icon(s)? How would you define your personal aesthetic and sense of style?
Ava Gardner, Kate Spade, and Audrey Hepburn are definitely three of my style icons. I think my style is forever evolving and I am constantly finding style inspiration from different people and in different places. I find myself being inspired by a lot of bloggers and women on Instagram like: @aww.sam, @melodrama, @elsielarson, @theuncommonplace, @daily_disco and plenty, plenty more. I also find myself being inspired by businesses and shops on Instagram like: @shop.luella, @shopbando, @helloholiday and @darlingdistraction. A few of my favourite style icons include: Dolly Parton, Elle Fanning, Dita Von Teese, and Rihanna.
You were involved in spearheading Lethbridge’s first femme music festival called FLIP Fest. Can you tell us a bit about this event and what inspired it?
FLIP Fest is Lethbridge’s first intersectional femme music festival. Our goal of the festival was to create an encouraging and inclusive Lethbridge music community for female and gender non-conforming artists, and to promote a safer music community, while showcasing female and gender non-conforming talent within Lethbridge and the southern Alberta community. My friend, Kristin Krein, had the idea and worked so incredibly hard on it, along with a fantastic collective of femmes who each had their own role within the festival. I organized an artisan market for the festival which featured all femme and non-binary vendors. It was an incredible experience, and we hope to make it bigger and better next year, so stay tuned!
Cup of Ambition Enamel Pin by Meghan MacWhirter, available on Etsy
You’re studying art and gender studies in University. Do you find that your academic pursuits help to inform and inspire your art? What inspires you most as an artist?
I definitely do! I think that being a young woman contributing to art and style is political in itself, and I learned this thanks to my Art and Gender Studies courses. I think I am most inspired by gender and race politics, as well as adventure and ideas of love.
Is there an element of art that you enjoy working with most (whether it’s a specific subject matter, medium, or material)? If so, why?
I think I find myself constantly enjoying such a wide range of styles that it’s hard to narrow it down to one particular element. I mostly enjoy creating art within printmaking, painting, and photography, and using animals, plants or food as my subjects. I definitely want to try making ceramics and textiles soon, as well!
Custom Art Prints by Meghan MacWhirter
Who is your favourite artist?
I also find this very hard to narrow down because there have been so many wonderfully talented humans in existence that I can’t possibly choose one! I am a huge fan of Robert Mapplethorpe, Henri Matisse, and Hannah Hoch, but a few of my favourite contemporary artists include: Kim Sielbeck, Chris Cran, Sarah Awad and Jordan Sondler.
What project are you focusing on now?
Pom Pom Earrings by Meghan MacWhirter
What role does ‘community’ play in your world as an artist?
Community is super important to me as an artist! I am influenced and inspired by those around me all the time, and the community I exist in, whether that be my friends, or my femme online community. Even issues I deal with conceptually within my art work are usually community-based. I couldn’t do anything I do without community.
What is a recent favourite exhibit you saw or museum that you visited?
I work at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery here in Lethbridge, and am absolutely in love with a current exhibition at the gallery titled “where/between”, which is curated by Pantea Haghighi, and features work by multiple artists of Iranian heritage. The exhibition features video, painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media and has overlying themes to do with migration, resistance and the feeling of living in between two spaces (the country one has immigrated from and the country one has immigrated to). It’s super powerful and super beautiful, and if anyone is in Lethbridge, I recommend they go see it!
What is your favourite book?
I absolutely love reading, but I find myself not being able to read as much as I would like to while I am in school. The most recent book I read was Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, which I loved and totally recommend to anyone! A book that comes to mind when I hear “favourite” is Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. I have so much more reading to do though!
For further info on how to order Meghan’s custom design accessories, enamel pins, pom pom earrings, and art prints, you may contact her on Instagram: @meghanmacwhirter or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or shop her products online on Etsy!
All photos courtesy of: Meghan MacWhirter